U.S. stocks rise broadly, amid continued uncertainty on Fed rate hike
Investing.com -- U.S. stocks moved broadly higher on Thursday as import-export prices fell by their lowest annual percentage in six years, providing investors with further uncertainty on whether the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates next week.
On Thursday morning, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said U.S. import prices fell by 1.9% last month, extending previous losses of 0.9% in July. On a year-over-year basis, imported inflation has fallen by 11.4% -- its lowest amount since September, 2009. Export prices, meanwhile, declined 1.4% far below expectations for a 0.4% drop. Exports prices fell by 7% over the last 12 months, also its lowest level since 2009.
Next week at its September monetary policy meeting, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) could lift its benchmark Federal Funds Rate for the first time in nearly a decade. The rate, which banks use to lend to other institutions on overnight loans, has remained at its current level between zero and 0.25% since December, 2008. In recent months, Fed chair Janet Yellen has indicated that the FOMC will raise rates this year if the economy and labor markets exhibit continued improvement.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the NASDAQ Composite Index each reversed some of Wednesday's losses during Thursday's session, amid gains in biotech and energy stocks. The Dow still remained in correction territory in spite of adding 76.83 or 0.47% to 16,300.40, while the NASDAQ rose 39.72 or 0.84% to close at 4,796.25.
The S&P 500 Composite index, meanwhile, gained 10.25 or 0.53% to 1,952.29, as eight of 10 sectors closed in the green. Stocks in the Technology, Health Care and Energy industries led, while stocks in the Telecommunication and Utilities sectors lagged.
One day after unveiling new models of the iPhone and iPad, as well as a revamped version of the Apple TV at a glitzy media event in San Francisco, AAPL ended Thursday's session as the top performer on the Dow. Shares in Apple surged 2.10 or 1.91% to 112.25, providing a boost to all three major indices. While Apple shares (NASDAQ:AAPL) remain considerably below its record-high reached earlier this year, they are still up by more than 11% on a yearly basis. The worst performer was WM, which fell 1.04 or 1.60% to 64.08.
The biggest gainer on the NASDAQ was KLAC, which jumped 2.16 or 4.38% to 51.51 after analysts at Piper Jaffray reaffirmed its buy rating for the California-based Semiconductor equipment manufacturer . The worst performer was WYNN, which fell 3.31 or 4.53% to 69.73. Shares in the multinational casino and entertainment conglomerate are down by more than 60% this year.
The top performer on the S&P was FCX, which gained 0.54 or 5.03 amid a spike in global metal prices on Thursday. Wynn was also the worst performer on the S&P 500, just below WMB which fell 1.74 or 3.78% to 44.27.
On the New York Stock Exchange, advancing issues outnumbered declining ones by a 1,667 to 1,428 margin.
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